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Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Charter Schools:  Proposed Revision to the Initial Charter of the Urban Choice Charter School


January 5, 2009


Goals 1 and 2





Issue for Decision


Should the Board of Regents approve staff’s recommendation concerning the proposed revision to the initial charter of the Urban Choice Charter School (Rochester)? 


Reason for Consideration


              Required by State statute, Education Law §2852.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the EMSC Committee in January 2009 for action.  It will then come before the full Board for final action in January 2009.


Procedural History


The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents (“Board”) to review applications for both new charter schools and the renewal of existing charter schools that are submitted to it in accordance with the standards set forth in subdivision two of New York State Education Law §2852.  After review, the Board may either (a) approve an application and issue a charter or a renewal charter for a term of up to five years, or (b) deny the application.


In addition, New York Education Law §2852(7) provides that revisions of charter school charters shall be made only upon approval of the charter entity and the Board of Regents in accordance with the provisions of the law applicable to the issuance of charters themselves.  With respect to charter schools directly chartered by the Board, it may either approve a proposed revision or deny it. If the BOR denies the application to revise an existing charter then the charter school may not implement the proposed revision(s).


Background Information


We received a request to revise the initial charter of the Urban Choice Charter School (“the School”), a Regents-authorized charter school.  The School was granted its initial charter on January 11, 2005.


The School seeks to revise its by-laws and organizational structure.  Proposed revisions to the by-laws include: (a) a change in the process to remove a Board of Trustees member, (b) increase the number of Board of Trustees to a range of 11-21, (c) change the principal office from Nottingham Road to Humboldt Street, (d) add a Governance Committee, (e) remove School Lead Administrator and Teacher Support Coordinator as officers and add a Chair and Vice-Chair, (f) raise the limit, from $1000 to $5000, when requiring checks and notes to corporation to be signed by two approved signers, (g) change the budget approval deadline from May 1 to May 15, (h) add the Director of Business and Finance to the approved list of signers of checks and notes to corporation, and (i) remove the provision regarding the power to lend money. 


Proposed revisions to the organizational structure include: (a) delete two positions: School Lead Administrator and Teacher Support Coordinator, and (b) add four positions: Chief Executive Officer, Director of Business and Finance, Assistant Director of Instruction, and Dean of Students.


The Rochester City School District held a public hearing regarding this proposed revision on November 12, 2008. No public comments were made or received. In addition, no comments about the proposed revisions were provided by the Rochester City School District.




VOTED:  That the Board of Regents approves the revision to the initial charter of the Urban Choice Charter School, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.


Reason for Recommendation


 The proposed revision to the School’s charter, along with the other terms of the charter: (1) meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations; (2) will permit the charter school to operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; (3) is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law; and (4) will have a significant educational benefit to the students expected to attend the charter school.


Timetable for Implementation


The Regents action for the Urban Choice Charter School is effective immediately.